UPDATE 1-Toronto stocks flat, help up by energy

Thu Aug 7, 2008 11:12am EDT
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*TSX flat but energy sector up as oil rises

*Benchmark index weighed down by financials

*Canadian Natural in focus after quarterly results

TORONTO, Aug 7 (Reuters) - The Toronto Stock Exchange's main index was slightly higher on Thursday morning, supported by strength in energy issues including Canadian Natural Resources Ltd (CNQ.TO: Quote), which reported richer-than-expected results.

The key energy sector was up 1.6 percent as the price of oil rose to above $120 a barrel.

Weighing on the market were the financial and consumer discretionary sectors, slipping 1 percent and 1.3 percent respectively.

Choppy early activity, during which the market see-sawed between positive and negative territory, reflects cautiousness in the market, said Levente Mady, broker at MF Global Canada, in Vancouver.

"There's quite a bit of confusion out there on a day to day basis," said Mady. "It's so choppy out there, it's a struggle to figure out what the next news item will be driving the trading."   Continued...